It is difficult for me to make such comments as must be made [about the revelation of Barack Obama's birth certificate] without sounding A) off-topic and B) reactionary; but since Wretchard quite properly brought up the subject of trust, all indications point to the fact that this discussion has now “gone meta,” to use the au courant terminology. We are no longer really talking about the birth certificate itself, but about the ontological wellsprings of power and the highly symbolic act of vesting authority.
Here is the situation as I see it. What sort of man Barack Obama is should have been obvious from the very beginning. It is revealed in his character, his actions, his speech, his physiognomy, his relations, and in all the other modes which we typically use to “size up” a person. Prudent people knew from their first glimpse of him that he was a dangerous manipulator, and that was enough to determine them against his candidacy. Since the danger rests in who he is not where he was born, there was no need to wait for a resolution to the birther controversy. The content of his character, as per MLK’s famous dream, had already disqualified him in the minds of the sober.
The angst of the birthers (I hate the unfortunate term—I am using it only for brevity’s sake) therefore cannot reasonably be attributed to a simple concern about the constitutionality of his election. In seems to stem instead from something like the following reasoning: “Barack Obama is just the sort of man who could mesmerize large numbers of the young, the unwary, the foolish, and the wicked; besides which, he has the entire PC, race-baiting, transnational Marxist machinery at his beck and call. We know exactly what he will do if in power, and the vision is horrible to contemplate; yet a crooked fate makes us look like the bad guys if we say so openly. Such conundrums are the inevitable crosses of trying to live like true conservatives in the modern world. Therefore it is necessary to expose him by some innocuous method. He has given us reasonable grounds to suppose that he does not meet the constitutional criteria to be elected president, and his character suggests that a lie on this score is not altogether out of the question. Let us press the point!” Of course, I am not suggesting that these words accurately reflect anybody’s conscious deliberations on the matter. Rather, this is what the birthers’ prudential decision-making would look like if it were translated into prose.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and submit that it may have been the wrong decision to make. The constitutionality of Obama’s election is not really as important as they’ve made it out to be. “Aha,” they might say, “You don’t think it is important that we might have been able, on constitutional grounds, to block this destructive individual from ever wielding one iota of presidential power for the bane of America? And to expose his aspirations, and those of the entire Leftist movement of which he stands at the head, as an edifice built on lies and deceit?”
No, I don’t. For everybody already knows such things about the Left, and the Left goes on anyway. In this particular case it might have made a difference, to the disgrace of one lone individual; but the Left is full of disgraced individuals, and the Left goes on anyway (as often as not, the disgraced individuals, too, go on anyway).
The crucial point was raised above, when we described Obama as “just the sort of man.” The sort of man to do what, exactly? Well, the sort of man that the preexisting Leftist machinery could use for its old familiar purposes. You see, Barack Obama is a type of Nazgûl, a creature hollow and fell. What he is in his own nature doesn’t matter so much. He wanted power and was ensnared by it long ago. Everything he is, and everything he does, can be referred to his principal, the Dark Lord whom he serves.
The real problem is not that a man like Obama became president, with or without a birth certificate (for the Leftist machinery could ever generate another candidate, and the defenestration of Barack Hussein Obama, even had we been able to arrange it, would not have done it any lasting harm). The problem is that we live in a world where creatures like Barack Obama are even thinkable in the first place. In order to be rid of them for good and all, we must destroy the One Ring from whence his power issues, the power of the Left itself, i.e. the power of modernity.
How did we end up with an Obama in charge? Certainly decades of Leftist agitprop and institutional reverse racism had something to do with it; but behind them lurks the darker spectre of democracy itself, that pernicious doctrine which holds that people who could not name the last five presidents should have a hand in choosing the next one. Yet the Overton Window slams shut on the tongue of anyone who dares suggest that democracy itself should be reevaluated, hence the difficulty and absurdity of being a conservative in the modern world. Apparently, even conservatives must hold to the maxim that the Enlightenment was just fine and dandy up until about 1920, or even 1933—it was only after that that things got out of hand. But as a matter of fact, politics in the Western world have not been “conservative” since at least 1789, and the adumbrations of that upheaval go back all the way to the 1650s.
Thus, I am not overly concerned about the constitutionality of Obama’s election. Being a Monarchist, I do not feel quite bound by the canons of the US Constitution anyway, since the document itself is irredeemably revolutionary. Whatever the means by which Obama rose to power, the fact that he rose to power is a verdict on the state of American democracy, and the verdict is one of rigor mortis. The task before us is to create by living example, and by the hard work of real-world politics (as opposed to the electoral variety), the kind of world in which just and free men can live in. We can only do that by recognizing that there can never be any rapprochement between freedom and modernity. The modern state is nothing but bureaucratic tyranny, be it in communist, socialist, or republican forms. Throughout human history there have been any number of tolerably contented subjects. There has never been a democracy that lasted much longer than two centuries. You do the math.